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GTCCA Lauds County Council's Passage of Limited Signage Bill

The legislation, proposed by Councilman David Marks, was spurred by community ire about signs at bail bond shops.

Community members are pleased that a bill proposed by Councilman David Marks to limit signage at businesses passed the council Tuesday night.

"We're thankful that Councilman Marks got this through," said Paul Hartman, president of the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations, at a Thursday night meeting.

The bill was presented to the county council after Marks heard community complaints about signs posted on properties where bail bail shops are located. In particular, residents were upset about a large orange sign posted on a stick by Bail Bonds Inc. at the intersection of East Chesapeake and Virginia avenues and signage at Double D Bail Bonds on Chesapeake Avenue depicting a well-endowed woman in handcuffs and jail stripes.

Marks had previously called the signs "very disturbing" and Hartman referred to them as outrageous.

Though the bill initially targeted bail bond shops, it was expanded to include all businesses.

Now, for all businesses 600 feet in any direction from the Historic East Towson neighborhood, neon signage must be 4 square feet. All signs mounted on a pole must also have a brick or masonry base, and can be no higher than six feet tall.

Businesses have six months to comply with the new regulations.

Correction: An earlier version of this article had incorrect information about the limited signage bill. Patch regrets the error.

JDStuts February 22, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Also very disturbing? A firehouse in the middle of West Towson. Enjoy Palisades of Towson residents! Signed, Perry Hall homeowner
T February 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM
According to county officials, surrounding communities were spoken with and are OK with the new fire house location....hmmmmmm......
Stark February 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Stuts I don't understand. Exactly where along the line did you change course regarding the Councilman? What was it that changed your mind so drastically? Here is what you had to say less than a year ago: "Without a doubt Marks is going to be remembered as one of the better council members in the history of the county. He acts on behalf on his constituency which brings him into conflict with the rest of the pensioners, oops, I mean politicians he interacts with. Additionally, having decided to self term limit himself he is the only one who has the courage to act independently. Everyone one else just wants to stay on the gravy train - right KK? It's a neat little niche he's carved out. A citizen serving his fellows for a brief amount of time, committed to doing the best job possible and then returning to private life. Too bad the rest of the county executive arm can't do the same." ...confused
Bart February 23, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Can't stand it when David Marks wins a big one for the community, heh, Stuts? Must make you mad! This Democratic Towsonite is proud of David Marks.
JDStuts February 23, 2013 at 01:51 AM
Really? No one spoke to us and if you email Marks he'll reply with "what's your idea smart guy." But let's move pass that. After accepting developer money he moves strongly to sell county land in a depressed market to...developers. With no plan in place or a cost/benefit analysis complete he says "lets plow a park." Sadly the park is located next to a MD Senator who schools him like a tool so he says, "umm, lets put it a residential neighborhood." But sadly the truth was revealed in a County Exec press release: “The sale of this property not only adds it to the county tax rolls, but it funds much-needed air conditioning at Dumbarton Middle School and construction of a new fire station in the fast-growing Towson community,” said 5th District Councilman David Marks. “In an era where money is tight, I commend County Executive Kamenetz for his fiscal management, and look forward to engaging the community about the new location of the fire station.” But how much money is there for A/C? He has no idea since he has no clue how much the new fire station will cost. But don't take my word for it. Email David right now and ask for a cost/benefit analysis on the proposed sale. Ask what the new station will cost, what the impact on West Towson house prices will be, and exactly how much will be left for A/C. Go on, I'll wait. He won't answer anyone else so maybe you'll get lucky.
JDStuts February 23, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Bart thinks you should be quiet now. A genius is at work. Granted him doesn't live in town but he's working. Sort of. On building Towson City. Where he refuses to live. Because its crowded. And loud. And has lots of signs he doesn't like. With students. And fire trucks that go all night. And there are no grocery stores. Towson is awful...thank God he got out.
Ed February 23, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Stuts, this is not a comment on Marks or an opinion on the move of the fire station. (A new one needs to be built, either on the current site or another appropriate area.) But as someone who grew up on Fairmount Avenue near Bosley, I can tell you that SOMEONE is hearing the sirens now. Moving the station might mean that another neighborhood will be hearing the sirens in the future and maybe the communities that have been hearing them since they were developed in the mid 1950s won't be hearing them quite so much.
JDStuts February 23, 2013 at 04:10 AM
True. But the decision maker is unresponsive and not addressing the issue that the proposed location will negatively impact the property values of an existing neighborhood. One neighborhood since the 50's has dealt with this. Now the solution is to burn out another to foster the discounted sale of taxpayer property to developers in order for an outsider to promote his goal of a Towson City? If he doesn't live here he shouldn't tell us what we should accept.
Ed February 23, 2013 at 04:16 AM
But stuts, I just found out the new site is near the county government buildings, not the Towson Manor park. There are very few homes near the currently planned site. I do not understand the concerns about the new fire site.
LiveWork Towson February 23, 2013 at 01:19 PM
I appreciate Marks' efforts on this matter. While the legislation is limitted in scope, it is meant to protect a local historic community without imposing rules that would make further development throughout Towson overly burdensome. Marks worked with community leaders and refined this bill based on feedback received. While it may not be perfect or ideal, it will address the current issues and prevent future similar problems in that particular area of town.
Mike Pierce February 24, 2013 at 06:22 PM
Thanks to David Marks for pushing this issue. Now if Code Enforcement actually enforces the law as written, rather than dreaming up every excuse they can for not enforcing it, as they have in other cases. I predict that, within a year, the Council will need to revise it to get enforcement as intended.

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